The Watchmaker's Lathe
by Ward Goodrich

Published in 1903 by Hazlitt & Walker, Publishers,
Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Revised in 1952 by North American Watch Tool and Supply Company.

Reprint by Arlington Book Company, Inc.
ISBN 0930163346

Arlington Books
1421 Brummel St - Evanston, Illinois 60202-3705 USA
Phone:  847-532-9849  - Fax:  888-225-2369
264 pages - 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 - 233 illustrations hardbound $25.00 (Special Price $15.00)

Review by Henry B. Fried

For many years, Ward L. Goodrich’s book on the watchmaker’s lathe was the standard reference on its historical background, construction, operation, care and selection.  In more recent years, de Carle brought much of the subject up to date and, together with the books on lathe operation by Bergeon, supplied the interested watch-and clockmaker with pertinent information and instruction.

The subject of this review is an edited edition of Goodrich’s original work. It has been newly typeset with bolder, easy-to-read type.  The illustrations, mainly fine engravings, have been reproduced, losing a little in the process.

In the editing, some sentences and even paragraphs and a few pages have made way for the new type.  A few illustrations have been substituted for presumably more modern repair benches, although some readers might prefer the missing engraving of that elegant rolltop bench.

Goodrich’s book, although dating from the first years of this century, is still a useful reference and instructional source.   It covers the construction of various American lathes, whose differences are shown and discussed. The selection, care and repair of the lathe and its attachment are included, with engravings.  Types of chucks, cement chucks, tail-stocks, hand and slide rests, pivot-polishing equipment, snailing and damascening are shown, as are wheel cutting and cutter making.

The older footwheels were often preferred by the older watchmaker because he could apply the proper power even at low speeds and some of these are described.  The watchmaker’s bench, too, is mentioned and pictured.

The editing and omissions haven’t detracted much from the original, but the editor overlooked the inclusion of two identical illustrations of the Swiss Universal Lathe, which a few pages later assumes a new nationality as the English Mandrel.  Despite all this, the book remains a worthwhile reference, especially for the American products.

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